If I retire before 60, when can I access my super?

Q: I am 56, nearly 57. If I decided to retire before 60 when can I access my super?

If you have reached your preservation age AND retire, then you can access your super benefits. Australians can have a preservation age ranging from 55 years to 60 years, depending on date of birth.

I assume your preservation age is 55 because if you are born before 1 July 1960, your preservation age is 55. If you were born after 30 June 1964, then your preservation age is 60 years. If you were born after June 1960 and before July 1964, then your preservation age is either 56, 57, 58 or 59 years of age. You can learn more about your preservation age by reading this SuperGuide article:  Accessing super: What is my preservation age?

Note: If you retire before the age of 60, then tax is payable on the taxable component of a super benefit.

For information on other ways you can access your super benefits before the age of 65, see SuperGuide article, Accessing super early: 14 legal reasons to cash your super.

My response is for information purposes only, and you’ll need to confirm how the rules apply for your personal circumstances by undertaking your own research, or by chatting to a financial adviser or accountant.

IMPORTANT: SuperGuide does not provide financial advice. SuperGuide does not answer all questions posted in the comments section. SuperGuide may use your question or comment, or use questions from several readers, as the basis for an article topic that we publish on the SuperGuide website. We will not disclose names or personal information in these articles. Comments provided by readers that may include information relating to tax, superannuation or other rules cannot be relied upon as advice. SuperGuide does not verify the information provided within comments from readers. Readers need to seek independent advice about their personal circumstances.


  1. My super has reached preservation age as has my husbands.
    We are looking at retiring as he has a terminal illness. If we take both our supers as a lump sum (mine is in a taxed fund, his is not) how would this affect any entitlements to Social Security?
    We would like to pay off our mortgage and do some travelling whilst he is able.

  2. Fiona Knight says:

    I have been trying in vain to find a definition of retire – this person is asking about retiring prior to 60. The whole issue of ‘retiring’ is confusing – easier for the dole recipients – they just don’t work anyway.

  3. David Blakemore says:


    I am going back to the United Kingdom soon to look after my sick father. Can I have my superannuation policy cancelled and the funds transferred into a nominated bank in the UK?

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